Region Times-News (Burlington, NC)
Friday, November 15, 2013 - Region Times-News -
"Ups and Downs: Championship checkers; better business; and to demolish or not to demolish?

Ups and Downs: Championship checkers; better business; and to demolish or not to demolish?       

Published: Friday, November 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM.

THUMBS UP to news that three new businesses are coming to Burlington. According to paperwork filed with the city, a car wash and Sleepy’s Mattress Store is planned for the Huffman Mill Road area, and a Smithfield’s Chicken ’N Bar-B-Q is planned for Alamance Crossing. Last year, Burlington saw 20 new commercial and residential developments, and so far this year there have been 21. The years 2010 and 2011 saw only 13 new developments each, compared to 32 in 2008. Are things slowly getting better? Looks that way.

THUMBS  . . . HMMM to the optimism of the Burlington City Council that some developer might step up to do some new project on Ross Street in Burlington. We’d be the first to cheer if that should come to pass, but we’re thinking the dilapidated, former Dogwood Rest Home would better be pushed down. But, the council has decided not to follow through with demolition until after the first of the year, thinking someone might step up to save the day. The structure has been a plague on the neighborhood for quite a while and no amount of condemnation or notifications can bring the property owners out of the woodwork to settle matters. Quicker it’s down the better.

THUMBS UP to organizers from the N.C. Checker Association for holding the World 11-Man Checkers Champion title match here in Burlington and to Graham’s Tim Laverty, who gave it his best shot against title holder Alex Moiseyev. The two men played 12 games over the course of the weekend, with Moiseyev, 54, of Dublin, Ohio, putting it out of reach with five wins (the other games were all draws). The photos of two masters deep in thought reminded us of the famous chess match in the 1970s between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky played in Iceland. It’s not ACC hoops, but it was pretty intense nonetheless.

THUMBS UP to news that the longtime unsightly railroad bridge over Webb Avenue in Glen Raven will at last get some TLC from the state Department of Transportation. It’s gotten lots of coats of paint over the 75 years of its existence, mostly in the form of graffiti. It’s now targeted for renewal with a special coating that resists street art. We don’t know how that will react to graffiti artists with resistant paint of their own, but we hope the project works. In the meantime, expect delays if you’re going that way over the next three months or so.

THUMBS UP to the many who contributed to a successful Veterans Day observation in Alamance County and around the state and nation this week. Golden Corral fed hundreds of veterans again this year, and Bobby Hinton performed music for them. An outstanding celebration in Mebane also drew hundreds and several civic, service and church groups sponsored events of remembrance. To those who serve us, we salute.

THUMBS UP to Hawfields Elementary School eighth-grader Damani Russell and Woodlawn seventh-graders Nate Small and Caroline Segars. The trio is among the 150 singers who performed in the N.C. Middle School Honors Chorus this year. The chorus draws the best young singers from across the state for performance and competition every November, and it also gives them a chance to sing in the primary performance space for the UNC School of the Arts as well as the Winston-Salem Symphony and Piedmont Opera Theatre.

And THUMBS UP to the Red Knights Motorcycle Club, whose members will be out today collecting toys for needy children this Christmas. For the eighth year, this club of active and retired firefighters will hold the Toy Run for Alamance County to collect items for the local division of the Marine Corps League’s Toys for Tots campaign. Last year, the riders collected 657 donated toys, and helped more than 2,700 children from 1,146 Alamance County families. They will be coming to a fire station near you collecting.  It’s that time of year, again.